Farmer groups on Thursday resolved to face arrest and not give in to the Uttar Pradesh government’s orders to vacate the protest site and police threat to evict them from Ghazipur border to Delhi.
The resolution to not stop protests came after police and alleged RSS supporters forced farmers from MP, Chhattisgarh and Odisha to evict them from Palwal protest site.
“We are willing to talk but will not give in to threats to stop our protest. Even if the police use force, we will not retaliate. Rather, we are prepared to be arrested as that is part of any andolan,” said Hannan Mollah, general secretary, All India Kisan Sabha.
Earlier, lookout notices have been issued against farmer leaders named in FIR in connection with the violence during the farmers' tractor parade on Republic Day by Delhi Police on Thursday. Delhi Police has intensified its investigation and invoked sedition charges in a case of the Red Fort incident.
Police also asked farmer leaders to respond within three days as to why legal action should not be taken against them for not following conditions set for the parade.
Sources said that around nine crack teams have been formed to locate all the culprits, even as there was no official confirmation from the police yet.
The move comes a day after Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava said that no culprit would be spared. On Thursday, Shrivastava held a meeting with the special commissioner of police (Intelligence) and other senior police officers at the police headquarters.
The farmer unions protesting against the three farm laws alleged that there was a conspiracy behind the violence, which left 394 police personnel injured and one protestor dead.
Thousands of protesting farmers, who reached ITO from the Ghazipur border, had clashed with the police on January 26. Many of them, driving tractors, reached the Red Fort and entered the monument.
Some protestors even hoisted flags on the domes and placed the flagstaff at the ramparts of the national monument, where the national flag is unfurled by the prime minister on Independence Day.
"The Delhi Police has issued lookout notices against farmer leaders named in an FIR in connection with the violence during the tractor parade," the police commissioner told PTI.
Police have named 37 farmer leaders, including Rakesh Tikait, Yogendra Yadav and Medha Patkar, in the FIR that mentioned charges of attempt to murder, rioting and criminal conspiracy.
Other farmer leaders who have been listed in the FIR are Darshan Pal, Gurnam Singh Chanduni, Kulwant Singh Sandhu, Satnam Singh Pannu, Joginder Singh Ugraha, Surjeet Singh Phool, Jagjeet Singh Dalewal, Balbir Singh Rajewal and Harinder Singh Lakhoval.
Delhi Police has registered a sedition case in connection with the violence at Red Fort during a tractor parade by farmers on Republic Day, officials said on Thursday.
According to a senior police officer, a case under section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered and the incident is being investigated.
Earlier, Delhi Police had named actor Deep Sidhu and gangster-turned-social activist Lakha Sidhana in an FIR lodged in connection with the Red Fort incident.
At the Singhu border point, a 'sadbhawana march' was taken out by protesting farmer unions.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday visited a hospital here to enquire about the health of policemen injured in the violence.
"Meeting the injured Delhi Police personnel. We are proud of their courage and bravery," Shah tweeted.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava accompanied the home minister.
During the visit, Shah interacted with policemen and also took stock of their health progress from doctors.
In a written message to Delhi Police personnel on Thursday, Shrivastava said that coming days can be more challenging and they will have to be alert.
"You have showed great patience despite the farmers' agitation turning violent...394 of our friends have been injured in the violence during the farmers' agitation," he said in his message.
Meanwhile, Delhi border points remained under heavy police deployment on Thursday in the aftermath of the violence. Security personnel have also been deployed at the Red Fort.
A group of people claiming to be locals at Delhi's Singhu border staged protest at the Singhu border, demanding that the area be vacated following the Republic Day violence in the city.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at several border points, demanding a complete repeal of the three farm laws.
With PTI inputs
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